Castles, Nuclear Power Stations, Decommissioned Steel Plants; What’s That Sulphuric Smell?

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March 23rd 2018
Published: March 24th 2018
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Nuclear Power Plants In The Distance.Nuclear Power Plants In The Distance.Nuclear Power Plants In The Distance.

France uses more nuclear power than any other source.
Blog Post Take Two: the save function didn’t work, the internet dropped out, about 350 words down the drain. Shouldn’t really say how that makes me feel, but a bit pissed off is just scratching the surface.

Deep breathe!

Here we go again.

The basic plan today was to visit the Duke of Lorraine‘s Castle in Sierra-les-Bains, have some lunch and a look around Thionville, and end up at a large shopping centre on the edge of Luxembourg, where Tim was having a French lesson while Sue and I shopped and waited.

I’ve always found it a little unnerving being a passenger in a car, and skooting along wet roads in the grey, cold countryside of Luxembourg hasn’t helped. We were in a Nissan Micra, a car so micro that I couldn’t see the bonnet from the front seat. In fact if you were involved in an accident, they could just remove the wheels, fix a cross to the roof and bury it where you are.

The kilometres fly by and the sun strains to appear between the dense cloud cover. After a few attempts it gives up for the day. It’s a chilly 6°c inside the car but GPS Woman continues to guide us, soothingly reassuring us that we are nearing our destination and this is something to be proud of.

Tim provides commentary on issues ranging from Luxembourg‘s emerging business, commercial and education revolution, the constant crisscrossing of the Luxembourg, French and German borders and the relevance of the uninspiring, grey village to our right, Schengen. It was here that the Schengen Agreement was signed, allowing for trouble free border crossing for members of the EU. I think there might be a short exam at the end of the day, so I’ll do some revision later.

We are passing through the Moselle region of France and the green rolling hills are dotted with small vineyards and a large nuclear power plant....Oooo, that’s taken the poetry out of the day. Enormous smoke stacks send dark clouds billowing into the atmosphere in order to produce france’s main supply of electricity, nuclear power. Where does the waste from that go? Produce more wine! we all need a drinK. It is better than our government’s fuel of the future, coal.

We visited the town of Sierck, did the castle and 14th century church, temporarily doubled the population wandering the laneways and went looking for lunch. No people. Do they all sleep in, go to work in Luxembourg, or is it largely deserted? There’s a fair in town but I think it would get busy if we crossed the road to visit.

Not to downplay Sierck, it’s quaint and interesting, but if I blab on too much about the castles ( they are as common as Lygon St coffee shops) and churches ( I love the history, buildings and the influence the church had in forming Europe), I’ll come across as some kumbaya singing knight in Souvenir Shop armour; I just like old stuff.

I enjoy the sense you get when visiting or passing through these towns of rust coloured stone cottages,crossing medieval bridges and, having few language skills, having to use the other senses to get by; a smile goes a long way but if you’ve buried your head in a map, don’t expect help, ask for it. We, the “master race” of English speakers, often arrogantly assume that everyone can speak it as well. I don’t, and actually walked out of a bakery in Paris because I knew I couldn’t explain to the baker what I wanted, REALLY wanted, the almond croissant with custard oozing out of both ends so I walked out and left it in the window; it’s unheard of, a first. I’m just grateful that English speakers can understand the drivel I come out with at times. I‘m sure some friends from overseas will back me up on this. I’ve just noticed that I’ve used a few colloquialisms here, so they may be lost already ( lost is another one, sorry).

Tim delivered us home safely, I’m going to the bathroom to do some revision ( it’s a small appartment so there’s nowhere to hide), and I think it’s homemade burgers for dinner, and before you yell, “That’s not very European!”, 85% of restaurants in Paris now have burgers on the menu; I blame Donald Trump.

Tonight, well, last night now, we attended a show at the Luxembourg Philharmonic performed by an African singer, Fatoumata Diawara. I went to this show with the last shades of the Lost Post still in my mind and walked home feeling envigorated. I had never heard of her before but FD and her band had the crowd, a wide mix of ages and types, up dancing en masses to the African beat and the singing, music and interreaction with the audience was uplifting. I didn’t understand a word she said (French) but from our seats to the back of the stage, up in the bleachers, we could not only see the show from above, but the audience reactions as well.What at first may have seemed poor seats turned out to be the best seats in the house.

Well, Natalia is not working today ( does Tim do anything?), so we are visiting a town in Germany, about 2 hours away. I can sense people are starting to wake up here so that’s all.

Sorry for the initial burst but I think this iPad is not long for this world and one week into our trip I’m still tired as we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped. Hi to all.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


Typical Narrow Cobbled Lane In SierckTypical Narrow Cobbled Lane In Sierck
Typical Narrow Cobbled Lane In Sierck

Leading up to the castle, these damp, mossy, slippery lanes are fun to explore, letting each turn take you were it leads. As long as you’re going uphill you’ll reach the castle. The only sound you hear are the few cars passing down below and a group of school children being herded up the hill, and this is the only place I’ve been where smoke is evident wherever you go.
Wine Cellars Along The Street In Sierck.Wine Cellars Along The Street In Sierck.
Wine Cellars Along The Street In Sierck.

Residents used to make and sell wine to passing travellers and locals.
Trashed Theatre In SierckTrashed Theatre In Sierck
Trashed Theatre In Sierck

The show must have been pretty bad to build up that anger!
Archway In Thionville LanewayArchway In Thionville Laneway
Archway In Thionville Laneway

This was originally one of the protected entries to the city.
The Biggest Chimney I’ve Ever SeenThe Biggest Chimney I’ve Ever Seen
The Biggest Chimney I’ve Ever Seen

Located at a decommissioned steelworks in Luxembourg
A Kibble Bucket On Rail Tracks A Kibble Bucket On Rail Tracks
A Kibble Bucket On Rail Tracks

The molten steel would have been poured into these in the way to manufacturing plants.

No one Was LookingNo one Was Looking
No one Was Looking

I landed a bit of graffiti on this one.. ............Just kidding if anyone’s thinking of reporting me.
The EU Flag Over SierckThe EU Flag Over Sierck
The EU Flag Over Sierck

It was suggested that the missing bit is Brexit.

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